Clues in the Cradle: 41,000-Year-Old Nest with 911 Eggs Unearthed in India


2024-07-07 05:30:05

Credit: MS University

Credit: MS University

An international team of archaeologists made a ground breaking discovery in Andhra Pradesh, India. They unearthed a 41,000-year-old ostrich nest, the oldest ever found globally. The find was made during an excavation of a fossil-rich site in the Prakasam district by a collaboration involving Vadodara's MS University, researchers from Germany, Australia, and the US.

The nest, estimated to be 9-10 feet wide, originally held between 9 and 11 ostrich eggs. This discovery sheds new light on the prehistoric fauna of the region. Additionally, nearly 3,500 ostrich eggshell fragments were found concentrated within a small area (1x1.5 meters). This marks the first concrete evidence of ostriches existing in South India and offers valuable clues about the extinction of megafauna (large animals exceeding 40kg, like horses, elephants, and hippos) in India around 40,000 years ago.

Previously, the oldest ostrich eggshells in India were found in the Siwalik Hills (dating back over 2 million years) and Katoti, Rajasthan (dating back 60,000 years). Devara Anilkumar, an assistant professor leading the project since April 2023 at MS University's Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, is expected to share more details about the ongoing research.